Life in These Surveillance States

Nothing to see here:

WASHINGTON — Four Central Intelligence Agency officers were embedded with the New York Police Department in the decade after Sept. 11, 2001, including one official who helped conduct surveillance operations in the United States, according to a newly disclosed C.I.A. inspector general’s report.

That officer believed there were “no limitations” on his activities, the report said, because he was on an unpaid leave of absence, and thus exempt from the prohibition against domestic spying by members of the C.I.A.

Another embedded C.I.A. analyst — who was on its payroll — said he was given “unfiltered” police reports that included information unrelated to foreign intelligence, the C.I.A. report said.

Why does this matter? Look, we all agreed that the various law enforcement agencies, including the CIA, needed to do a better job talking to each other after 9/11. But talking to each other is one thing, and the CIA involved in domestic spying is another thing -- a completely prohibited thing. It happened during the Vietnam era, when the CIA helped the spy for the government on legitimate protest activities at home. And it shouldn't happen in New York, where Michael Bloomberg, one of the world's richest men, has spent the last 12 years building his own private army. Enough already.